The programme manager, Akwa Ibom State Malaria Elimination Programme (SMEP) has said that states that have been affected by the flood would be prone to water-borne diseases in addition to malaria attacks.
“The tendency is that for those areas that are endemic with the parasitic carrying vector, the tendency is that it will also cause an impact beyond the other issues that are related to water borne diseases and poor water sources that we have and the attendant diseases,” he stressed.
According to him, there should be a multi sectoral approach in getting succour to those affected, adding that there were current interventions and campaigns against malaria .
He said the campaigns include: prophylaxis and the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN) to prevent mosquito bites that would cause malaria in pregnant women and children who were the most vulnerable.
“It is a multi sector thing, not just for the issue of malaria; we already have interventions that are available to everybody. One of the interventions is for prevention using the Insecticide Treatment Nets for all including pregnant women and children who are the most vulnerable,” Orok stated.
He explained that there were ongoing campaigns and interventions across the collaborate country that were taking place at different locations.
Dr Ntiense Umoette, the state epidemiologist, corroborated that cholera, typhoid fever, malaria were likely to be the common presentations around the affected communities and emphasized that “malaria and cholera could be life threatening if not managed properly.
She suggested hand hygiene, proper sanitation and proper waste disposal as well as the use of insecticide treated nets as well as proper food handling to prevent the effect of the disaster.
Umoette further pointed out the magnitude of the flood disaster could be reduced with “regular environmental sanitation and desilting of drainages.
The worst affected areas include Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra, Lagos and other states in the South -South and North Central regions respectively.
As a result of the flood, water borne diseases including dysentery and diarrhoea illness associated with sanitation were likely to be recorded in many of the flood ravaged communities, while stagnant waters could provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes that malaria.
Nigeria has since launched a national malaria elimination programme “to provide comprehensive and cost efficient and quality malaria control services and ensure a malaria free Nigeria by reducing malaria burden to zero level.
According to experts, four African countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide, with Nigeria accounting for 31.9 per cent, the Democratic Republic of Congo, 13.2 percent, United Republic of Tanzania, 4.1 percent and Mozambique 3.8 percent.
Controlling the spread of malaria by preventing mosquitoes from breeding is one sure way to achieve a malaria free society but the flood ravaging many communities in the country, experts say the efforts are being threatened.